Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Visual Studio extension: VSColorOutput

This week I started using a nice and quite useful extension for Visual Studio called VSColorOutput. Quite simply: it colors the build output. It is customizable, but out of the box it is already configured to color standard output lines. This can be quite useful when your solution is large and you have a lot of customized target. I configured a rule for some special targets I have and have been pretty happy with it (my solutions at work are quite large).

This is their web site where you can find more details about it:

And here is a screenshot I copied from them:

Transient Fault Handling

Microsoft has a team called Patterns & Practice that works, among others, on common patterns for robust enterprise applications. They document and make code available to solve some of the common problems - which oftentimes are reinvented by each company or team that needs to deal with them.

Today I read a link that was on my list for quite sometime called

The Transient Fault Handling Application Block

It provides not only patterns, but also code that can be downloaded via a NuGet package that implements fault handling. And, even if you don't want to use it, it is a good example of code and design that you can reuse in your application - especially if it requires customization that would be hard to implement using the design the Patterns & Practice team put in place.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Absolute Consistency

Very often I have a hard time explaining to people not very familiar with distributed systems how hard it is to provide consistency guarantees in face of node failures and network partitions.

Today I read an emails posted to Riak users list that gives good examples on why this is a non-trivial problem:

Definitely worth reading if you're into distributed systems.